On December 3rd 2016, Albert competed at the Five Grappling Pro Invitational Undercard. His opponent, Harlan Berk, Barum Jiu Jitsu, started the match with maneuvering into a loop choke. Albert managed to escape Harlan’s choke and ended the match with a swift submission. We were able to talk with Albert on win.
How did you prepare for the Five match?
Getting ready for the FIVE, I tried to go back to my old way if training… It’s difficult to teach and train, especially teaching at 2 different schools. (Eric Nolan’s Xtreme Training Center and my new school Piranha Jiu Jitsu). It’s not easy to find the balance. This time around I had access to higher belts. Jason Ackerman (Kron Black Belt) who helped me out tremendously. As well as 2 of my instructors Art Kopp and Danny Wilson. I also had my students run me through gauntlets to help my cardio.
Going into this match I didn’t know too much about Harlan. One of my students showed me some of his past matches. I saw he was a deep half player and he likes to attack the legs. So I wanted to protect my legs and throw him off his game. Stephen Martinez who cornered me that night told me, to push the pace and use my wrestling if need be. I am really comfortable in half (top) I like to setup my choke game from there. Once I got him to turtle up, I attacked with the clock choke.
At the Black Belt level there is no easy matches, any little mistake can cost you the match. Harlan is a solid guy, very strong and technical. I didn’t expect him to attack with chokes… Luckily I recognized the loop choke. It is one of my favorite chokes. So I was able to tuck my chin, and I stayed calm. I kept my grips, I believe I had one ankle and one hip grip or both ankles… But I needed to control his hips. He had great leverage on it. Once he lifted his elbow I was out.
Any final thoughts?
I want to first thank the Lord for allowing me to do all of this! I want to thank my fiance and my family who always support me and put up with me. My Instructor, team mates and my students for helping me get ready for this event. Big Thanks to all my sponsors: Conca Fight Gear, Dojo Chimp, Newaza Apparel and Farmer Phred’s for always beliving in me and the continued support.
You can learn more about Albert by following him on instagram @piranha_al